Meet the Imurj Team
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Meet the Team

Managing Partner

Karl Thor

Personal Theme Song: An original “I Don’t Know and I Don’t Care”

Imurj Bar Order: PBR

Creative Outlet: Nanyo


Karl can’t make up his mind between science and music…he loves both.  Karl was born into a musical family and has been playin’ guitar for over 40 years and recorded a DIY (Do It Yourself) CD under the nom de guerre “Eye d’Neau”.  He was looking to supplement his retirement income by playing in local clubs, but getting gigs was a PITA.  Karl decided that if he was going to invest time figuring out all the issues involved in starting to play professionally without spending a lot of cash, he was going to capture the return on that investment by guiding other DIY amateur musicians on becoming an entry-level professional.  Therefore, Karl and his partner, Heather Burns, founded Imurj to build an “art and music incubator” where amateurs can get “hands on” help and network with other DIY musicians and visual artists, using the Imurj Café and Studios as a “community center” to “hang out”.

Managing Partner

Heather Burns

Personal Theme Song: “Incomplete” by Alanis Morissette

Imurj Bar Order: Latte by day, amber ale by night

Creative Outlet: Playing ukelele and singing for her kids


Heather Burns is a creative entrepreneur and fearlessly leads the Imurj team as Operations Director and Managing Partner. She has a BSBA and MBA from East Carolina University and a 20 year background in entrepreneurship and marketing.  After a successful career in marketing and restless in corporate America, Heather decided to pursue her own venture in 2003. Her company, SmartMomma, grew from an advice website to a $1.8 million annual grossing baby retail e-commerce and brick-and-mortar store in Raleigh. After ten years in the baby business, Heather was ready to tackle a new challenge. Heather’s philosophy is “I have a lot to teach and a lot to learn”. After a meeting with Karl Thor, Heather and Karl recognized the need for support of local artists and musicians in the Triangle. This need sparked the idea for Imurj, a collaborative arts and music space where local artists can work and play.

Audio Engineer

Paul Voran

Personal Theme Song: “The Gaudy Side of Town” by Gayngs

Imurj Bar Order: The Pa(ul)mplemousse

Creative outlet: Sauce-making


Paul has been making music for his entire life.  What started as basic theory instruction developed into over a decade of multiple woodwinds, jazz theory, composition, and ultimately a love of the recording arts.  All the while he has earned his technological chops working for multiple AV production companies and recording studios under world-class engineers of various backgrounds.  His recent time at Osceola Studios in Raleigh, NC gave him experience with a multitude of national and global artists of practically every genre under the sun.  Whether you bring in your trusty guitar or a ten piece indian sufi-folk fusion band, Paul’s experience and creativity will leave you with a record to be proud of.

Business Development Director

Amy Hoffman

Personal Theme Song: “This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads

Imurj Bar Order: “The Amy” a.k.a. Iced Mexican Chocolate Latte

Creative Outlet: Writing short stories & Wrestling

When Amy’s not hiking, meditating, or petting every dog that walks by, you’ll find her at Imurj, loving everyone. Seriously. She’s earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from New York University and has studied Fine Art and Art History at Regent’s University in London and at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Amy has worked at various record labels and advertising companies throughout New York City, including Capitol Records and JWT Advertising. She now calls Raleigh her home and is stirring up trouble (and business) everywhere.

Gallery Program Manager

Kenneth Proseus

Personal Theme Song: “Admit It!” by Say Anything

Imurj Bar Order: Brood Sour

Creative Outlet: Baking


Kenneth Proseus is both an abstract essentialist painter and arts administrator operating in the Triangle over the better part of the last decade. Among his arts administrative experiences, he has worked with Gallery C, the Durham Arts Council, and Visual Art Exchange. As an artist, his work has been exhibited in numerous public and private venues, with work collected by corporate, public, and private collections. View his work and additional information at

Tech Coordinator

Samuel Engel

Personal Theme Song: “Loser” by Beck

Imurj Bar Order: Whatever Paul’s buying

Creative Outlet: Graphic Design


Sam Engel graduated from Miami University of Ohio earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Shortly after, Sam was picked up by the start-up company, The Laundry Chute, LLC as their Director of Operations in Palm Beach, FL. While helping to build this company from the ground up, Sam developed a keen interest in web and app development. With Sam’s unique skillset he is able to hone his artistic background which gives him a creative eye in the tech realm. Sam hopes to continue developing his skills in coding, user interface, and user experience to make Imurj’s web presence as great as it’s downtown facility.

Facility Manager

Fernando Sanders